Red Hat Marketplace by IBM

Streamlining the complexities of Multicloud Management

As DevOps teams wrestle with the complexities of Multicloud Management, IBM envisioned an end-to-end marketplace that would streamline discovery, deployment, and consistent management across clouds, within a unified platform and interface.

Orchestration in the clouds

It’s a big idea, one that positions IBM head-on against behemoth competitors in the market. The Multicloud Management tool must encompass key features to support vendors, enterprise account holders, and DevOps teams, including the ability to publish, deploy, and manage a range of enterprise software tools.

The company’s 2018 acquisition of Red Hat, a pioneering Linux shop with a trusted reputation, provided the opportunity to integrate its suite of capabilities with IBM features, creating a more interesting and complex design challenge.

Articulating and advancing the vision through design artifacts, argo led the collaborative team through requirements definition, product strategy, and detailed design innovations to produce a best-in-class solution.

Designing for myriad roles and needs

In the world of cloud computing, stability, security, support, and performance are crucial considerations for every enterprise organization. With that in mind, we designed Red Hat Marketplace and Workspace so engineers are empowered to explore, IT leaders can better support their teams, and business leaders have visibility into usage and spend across their entire cloud infrastructure.

One view to rule them all

A single view provides all the information a business leader needs in understanding software health, utilization, and spend across their entire cloud infrastructure.

Tailored for action

Product detail pages encourage actionable exploration through transparent certification levels and free trials, clear and consistently displayed specifications, install documentation, and support information.

Robust software management

Workspace lets engineers efficiently monitor and update their software based on time and channel, as well as manage their favorite, deployed, trial, and expired products.

A Curated Experience

Enterprise organizations can create their own private catalogs, helping IT leaders keep track of entitlements, and engineers bypass the noise of unsupported software.

Publishing tools to empower makers

A vibrant ecosystem of products is the lifeblood of any successful marketplace. So we focused on facilitating the role of the creators — Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) — with a toolset that helps them get their products into the marketplace with as little effort as possible.

The toolset integrates aspects of IBM’s Provider Workbench with the Red Hat certification process and system, to get the most value out of both properties. Through technical and heuristic audits of the existing IBM and Red Hat publishing experiences, as well as competitive reviews of prominent cloud providers such as Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud, argo identified critical integration points and usability enhancements that strike a balance between experience and technical feasibility.

The finished product is a world-class publishing experience: a combination of self-serve and concierge touchpoints that effectively guide ISVs through creating an account, publishing their first product, establishing support and billing parameters, and managing and monitoring their offerings.

Two brands unite in a clean, approachable style

The 2018 acquisition brought together two influential and well-respected entities, each with their own unique brand affinities. The identity of the marketplace needed to unite the positive attributes of the Red Hat brand with IBM’s credibility among the engineering audience.

To inform the brand strategy, argo researched analogous company acquisitions, and paired the insights with different approaches -- including IBM dominant, Red Hat dominant, and parent-company agnostic visual expressions -- to articulate the landscape of possibilities. Once again, bringing elements to life through design helped drive an informed decision process.

The resulting brand strategy extends and evolves IBM's Carbon design language to encompass the Red Hat brand, effectively unifying the positive attributes of both brands in the IBM ecosystem. Building on the developer community's affinity with the Red Hat brand, and pairing it with the power, scalability, and stability of IBM's design language, the Red Hat Marketplace was born.

Sophisticated management for any cloud

With the launch of Red Hat Marketplace in April 2020, IBM realized their vision of a streamlined, elegant solution for DevOps, allowing them to build an app for, say, Azure, and move it between clouds or on-premise. A central purchasing location for automated deployment to any cloud, it will solve for critical pain points across an organization, no matter their preferred environment.

In order to maintain the velocity and breadth of work that we were tasked with covering, we were lucky enough to partner with argodesign. argo provided us with early, critical enablement — staff augmentation, diverse design expertise and a fresh, unbiased perspective. Working with IBM as a partner has its challenges. We’re not the easiest company to collaborate with, especially given the rapid growth, change and pressures that we were under. That said, we couldn’t have had a better early partner than argo. Colin Narver
Design Manager and Team Lead, IBM Cloud, Data & AI